CAR NO. SR311- 00580
ENGINE NO. U20- 0 1 3 3 5

Owner: Robert Hewitson
Location: Australia

SR311-00580 was a forlorn bare shell when rescued from the back of a garage in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1995. She came as part of a load of Roadster spares I had acquired from a mechanic who had decided to quit working on them. There was only the basic body sitting unbolted on the frame, luckily the engine, gearbox and differential were still there.

At that time I was beginning the restoration of my white, soon to be silver, car and so the body was lifted off the frame and stored behind my garage in the open, uncovered. The frame was in very good condition so it was stripped and repainted, then stored.

In October 1996, after the completion of the red car I decided that 580 was too rare to scrap and began a pseudo-restoration of her. I had many parts left over from the other two cars and so parts that were still serviceable became the basis for the underpinnings of 580. A stripped down steering column from a 1969, without the lock - the ignition key moved to the position of earlier 1600's - the front crossmember was replaced with a new one as the suspension mounts were very badly worn - only when the steering box was offered up to the crossmember did it become apparent that the crossmember was from a late model (1970) Roadster and they use a different box - adapters were hurriedly constructed for both the steering box and idler - RHD steering boxes are like rocking-horse @#$%.

The rear axle location was stiffened with the addition of another track rod on the opposite side and standard springs with the eyes reversed were used. Koni adjustable gas shockers and trimmed down bump stops helped the damping. Much discussion was had over the front suspension - the car had to handle well but must still have suspension movement - therefore lower spring buckets were constructed 2'' deeper than original - this allowed the car to sit lower but still have fair suspension movement - of course the bump stops had to be trimmed a little.

Front brakes are modified using Mitsubishi Magna vented rotors and Holden VL Commodore Turbo calipers - at that time the DBA rotors had not been produced. Both the above cars are Oz only production. Wheels were sourced from Simmons Wheels (Oz again) and were custom offset for the car - they are 15 x 7 with 205/55 Yokohama A509 tyres.

The colour decided was base yellow - no tinter at all - the spray painter is still cursing me as the colour was very transparent and required many coats to cover the car.

1968-9 seats were used - I have the original 67.5 seat frames stored - nothing was installed in the doors except the opening mechanisms - the interior was trimmed in grey and she was designed as a fair weather car without either soft or hard top.
Our goal was to have her ready for the Nationals in Forbes, NSW in June 1997, so the pace of work was frantic. As it was we missed out by one day - @#%&* electrics were our downfall.

580 made the 1998 Nationals (the above shot was taken there).